Now she’s expanding to Tokyo, Kuwait, Qatar, Abu-Dhabi — the latest places where upscale brides are clamoring for her cakes.
“We have been flying cakes overseas for a long time. But now we’re talking about setting up a few outposts to relieve some of that flying. We’re opening a store in Tokyo. In Japan, they used fake Styrofoam cakes that they rolled out for pictures, then rolled away and had another dessert. Now with the Internet and access to bridal magazines and all of that, brides in many parts of Asia want more Western weddings. They want to have specially designed gowns and cakes and all of that. They want to express their individualism. They don’t want to be stamped out.”
Over the years, Weinstock has fine-tuned many skills. One of them is the ability to predict the success of a marriage just by spending a little time with the bride and groom when they come into her shop to order a cake for their big day.
“When someone comes in and it’s their second wedding, I’m always poking. What went wrong with the first marriage? What didn’t you see? Frequently, the women will say, ‘He changed.’ Or they’ll say, ‘I didn’t know him well enough.’ Or, ‘My parents were right.’ But I think it comes down to the fact that they confused love with passion. Real love simmers down a bit into a special warmth. When you look upon each other there is this inner glow that you get. You can see that in a couple.”
Her best advice for a successful marriage?
“Pick your battles. And stay an interesting person. Bring to the table your own career, your own thoughts. That keeps the intellectual spark and the emotional spark going. Maybe he does interesting medical research but she just wants to talk about the country club and the shopping. She’s boring.”
But what about those men who are threatened by women who have big careers, who prefer to marry women who will stay home to raise the kids and bake the chocolate chip cookies?
“That’s not our kind of man, that’s all.”
Weinstock can be cut-and-dried about a lot of things. Take fondant cakes, for instance.
The f-word? No, I don’t use that stuff. I use fresh butter, fresh cream, fresh fruit. Fondant is like a sugar clay. One you put it on a cake, you can’t even refrigerate it. It’ll weep and stretch. Fondant doesn’t taste good. You have to peel it off because you can’t really eat it.”
What’s her take on the cupcake craze?
“They’re great for a kid’s party. I have never had a good cupcake. They definitely don’t belong at a wedding. I think they’re OK in the backyard for a barbecue.”
Does she like any version of a store-bought cake?
“I don’t really eat junk food. Maybe french fries or chips. But no store-bought cakes. If I’m going to indulge in the calories, I’d rather have vodka.”